Tag Archives: opinion

Things to Do Now That We’ve “Decided” the Pandemic is Over

Not every country can ignore a pandemic because they simply got “bored” but Americans prove, yet again, that having freedom does not equate to having intelligence.

Source: Kumail Nanjiani – Twitter

“These are unprecedented times.” If I hear that phrase one more time, I might just explode into a thousand quarantined pieces. But, luckily (I guess), our country has decided coronavirus doesn’t exist anymore! We didn’t wanna deal with it anymore so we’re not! Science is incredible, isn’t it? You can just will away a pandemic. Or, at least, that’s what a majority of Americans have concluded.


Despite the continuing rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., it looks like people are going out more often than ever before. Okay! Since we value material things like going shopping or getting a haircut over the health and well-being of ourselves, our loved ones and essentially every living soul around us, here are some things you can do to distract yourself from the impending doom of our country:

Look Forward to a Career in Politics or, More Specifically, Capitalism

If you’re completely ignoring the safety precautions put forth by multiple health experts, you may be a capitalist! Good for you, that’s what America intended. The government is valuing the economy over human lives so it sounds like the perfect place for you. You can jumpstart your career by going to protests in favor of reopening, begin privatizing your own means of production and start saying goodbye to your friends now because they will probably (definitely) not be your friend for much longer. But, hey, you’ll have some money.

Make Some More Young, Hip Friends

It’s widely known that the most susceptible group to COVID-19 is the elderly. In fact, according to the CDC, eight out of 10 reported coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. are people 65 or older. Lots of younger age groups seem to think, because of this, they are immune to COVID-19 and don’t have to worry. If that’s their mindset, they should prepare for the future. To those people, I recommend looking for more friends their own age. Since they’re especially endangering all their loved ones of the older persuasion, they should go ahead and prepare for what life might be like without them. Surrounding yourself with other young, carefree, selfish people will soften the blow, right?

Don’t Vaccinate Your Children

A surprising amount of people are refusing to do the easiest form of protecting themselves against an illness (i.e., wearing a mask). If they can’t follow the simplest precaution, they might as well save some money and avoid all other logical medical practices. Keep the streak going, America! Either now or in the future, you can refrain from vaccinating your children. Sure, they might be unprotected from a multitude of diseases, but they’ll be following in their parent’s careless footsteps. Like mother, like daughter. 

Don’t Use Your Blinker and Don’t Bother Flushing

America’s individualism ideology is truly in the spotlight thanks to this pandemic. I have never seen so many people blatantly disregard the well-being of those around them more than I have in the past six months. (Looking at you, Cabo 211.) Alright, fuck it! Let’s just throw in the towel now. No more common decency! When driving, don’t use your blinker; fellow drivers can just figure out your changing lanes on their own time. Don’t worry about flushing the toilet after you’re done. The person after you is perfectly capable of flushing. It’ll be like that scene from Big Mouth’s second season when shame disappears. Complete bliss(?).

Try Skydiving Without a Parachute

Yes, people are being reckless with everyone else’s lives, and it appears most Americans are paying no mind to their own health as well. As previously mentioned, people who are ostensibly young and healthy seem to believe they’re invincible. Let’s truly test that theory. You should try skydiving without a parachute! It’s just as thoughtless and irresponsible as not taking a pandemic seriously. Plus, I’m sure you’d have a really great view along the way. It would certainly be prettier than being stuck on a respirator in the hospital.

I know it can be difficult to read social cues via the Internet but this is satire. I do not condone any of these behaviors and neither does anyone at BurntX. Obviously, this is not directed at those who have been following all health and safety guidelines. This is aimed at critiquing those who are taking this pandemic lightly. It’s for those who are selfish enough to not even wear a piece of fabric over their face to protect their neighbor.

Source: Twitter

Although I have attempted to make parts of this funny, the situation of our country is no laughing matter. People are dying. Loved ones are being affected and hospitalized everywhere. 

Please please please please PLEASE do your part to help in any way you can. Stay informed, especially regarding the status of your county/city. Wear a mask. Social distance. Stay home unless you absolutely have to leave. For the love of God, stop eating out at restaurants! Get some take out! Just, please, be safe and think about those around you.

Resources:

The Eyes of Black Students Are Upon You

Amid this revolutionary movement occurring around the world, it is going to take a lot more than statements and videos to show that Black Lives Matter. 

On Memorial Day George Floyd, an African American man, was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis. In the wake of Floyd’s death, celebrities, politicians, companies, and institutions rushed to get out their statements supporting the fight against racism. I was looking for one in particular; from our beloved, The University of Texas at Austin.

On May 30, the UT Austin Twitter account quoted a tweet from the Big 12 account saying “We stand with our Big 12 schools against all acts of racism and violence.”

“We say, “what starts here changes the world,” UT Interim President Jay Hartzell said. “Those starts don’t just happen. They are the results of actions – large and small, as individuals and in teams.”

To no surprise, black students, including myself, were not having it. Yes, the interim president said change comes from action, but we have yet to see UT do anything more than put out a well-crafted statement.

They say they are against racism but have buildings named after racist men who had ties to the confederacy.

They say they are against racism, but the school song, “The Eyes of Texas”, has racist origins. First performed by John Sinclair, who was a member of the Varsity Minstrel Show, in 1903. These shows were full of derogatory images of Black people aimed to make fun of them.

UT is not an activist, it is a performance activist. They’re saying, but they’re not doing.

I find it hard to believe you mean these words when there are instances that say otherwise.

Black students find it hard to feel they belong on UT’s campus. When I walk into a classroom and see more than two black people I am surprised. I’m going to be a senior next semester, and I have had one black professor for a class that centered around the African American community.

UT is a great school, but in this fight against racism, it’s simply not doing enough. Black students need more. We need true action.

Previously, the UTPD, who has been accused of targeting Black people in the past, made a deal with students: report an incident and get a free pizza. Presenting a risk of false reports on Black people. 

When given the opportunity to show support for the protests, instead of attending one of the public downtown protests. UTPD made what felt like a propaganda video of students and law enforcement walking around campus. 

If UT is truly against racism, prove it to me. Prove it to the black students, who desperately wish they could call this campus a safe place.

Black Lives Matter is not a trend. It is a continuous fight that has only just begun. Your work is not finished because you wrote three paragraphs and posted it on Twitter. Black students will be watching UT next semester and if very little is done, it will speak volumes — more than any statement of solidarity sent out in a mass email.

Donate to Black Lives Matter organizations around Austin.

Educate your white students on the racist history of the campus, and how to use their privilege to amplify the voices of the less privileged.

If the Student Activity Center and the College of Liberal Arts buildings can be renamed, then surely the same can be done to T.S. Painter Hall and Robert Lee Moore Hall.

Enough saying, more doing. Then I will start to believe that Black Lives Matter at UT Austin.

UT PETITION: http://chng.it/b97h6pwb

Christmas Without Santa

Everyone’s favorite time of the year has finally arrived! Christmas, a time with beautiful lights, cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies, and Mariah Carey reclaiming her “Queen of Christmas” crown once again. Yet, especially for children, it’s also a time of approaching the day of the 25th, where the magical Santa Claus enters your home, eats a questionable amount of sweets, and brings toys for all the little children across the world. Many can agree that the big man with the beard is iconic, yet many can also concur that this fictional figure and the holiday itself is highly commercialized. With every passing year, this jolly holiday has unfortunately become a profitable frenzy.  From getting your lights and decorations out as soon as possible to any store business taking the opportunity to establish “Crazy Sales”, Christmas has transformed Santa Claus simply into a logo who carries a coke bottle as well as merely an encouragement to buy what you desire. This leads to an intriguing question; Can one have Christmas without Santa Claus?

Well, certainly yes, it’s indeed possible and I should know that because as a child, I was told that he didn’t exist. To elaborate, no, I was not deprived of a childhood and banned from believing, but due to financial troubles, we couldn’t afford to have that many gifts. In my household, my single mother was balancing between two jobs and taking care of 5 children, leading to not being able to have the joy of waking up to many toys. Yet, I always have been thankful to never have had that privilege as not only has it humbled me but it as well as allowed my family to develop our own merry little Christmas. As my siblings and I began to grow up, we started to give each other little gifts that focused on sentimental value. Before being able to get jobs and make money, we would give one another handmade gifts (i.e. My sister loved making jewelry and I loved writing poetry or drawing pictures) or offer to do each other chores for a week or so by giving little “home coupons.” Although gifts weren’t as extravagant in my household growing up, we would take advantage of having our mother not working by having our own little Christmas party. We would drink hot chocolate and eat food in our pajamas, spending the whole holiday watching “A Christmas Story” on its’ 24 hour marathon, seeing who can last the longest (I usually win). These small traditions continued on till this day, allowing me to truly see that Christmas is a time of family, and appreciating all you have.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This holiday has also allowed me to see that the value of gratitude is important. Growing up, I started to help out in my community to those have also been unfortunate in the holiday season. Doing so has enabled me to truly focus on the real meaning of Christmas, which is to bring goodwill to all people, especially those in need. So, how can one be able to give a little holiday spirit? Well, one can donate toys and other gifts to organizations such as Orange Santa (A UT based tradition), Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, or any toy drive at a local market/shopping mall. Rather than gift giving, one can also go into their local nursing home or women’s shelter and simply spend your time making their day a little special by caroling, giving food, and other good deeds.

Amanda Landa, author, Christmas 2002.

Overall, although Christmas has been about gift giving, it’s also about giving your time and grace to others. Have a Happy Holidays!

Want to help out this holiday season? Here’s more information on the following;

Orange Santa: https://orangesanta.utexas.edu/

Toys For Tots: https://www.toysfortots.org/

St. Jude’s: https://www.stjude.org/give

Salvation Army :https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/ways-to-give/

Featured image courtesy of Jill Wellington from Pixabay

The boys: demasking the “super” out of superheroes

Slight Spoiler Warning! Nothing too major yet you have been warned*

Courtesy of IMDB

Over the past decade, superhero movies have dominated pop culture, becoming the most successful franchises in cinematic history. The MCU have been churning movies back to back, creating a complex yet incredible timeline that has gathered a devoted fanbase. Superheroes have been popularly depicted as ones with remarkable abilities and relatable characteristics, going through a journey of saving the world as well as dealing with ordinary issues. Yet, as these characters continue to thrive on our screens, it does bring curiosity to think if heroes could ever be bad. Well, that curiosity has certainly been met in the form of Amazon Prime’s The Boys.  Inspired by the 2006 comic book of the same name, this series takes place in a reality where superheroes not only exist, but similar to our society, dominate the media. Yet, unfortunately these beings overall abuse this power, making them the real chaos of society. Let’s dwell more on how The Boys perfectly and chaotically invalidates the stereotypes of superhero culture. 

Courtesy of IMDB

The series focuses on “The Seven”, a group of superheroes that are owned by Vought International, a powerful corporation that literally factorizes babies into all mighty beings using top secret chemicals. Vought markets these “supes” by creating their own backstories and destinies. This fictional company has an extreme firm grasp on the media, going as far as having these heroes film commercials, reality-like shows, and blockbusters. Think of these beings as celebrities, yet because of their intense idolatry, society has blindly followed their authority, masking their imperfections. Homelander, the Superman-esque and leader of the Seven, is a prime example of a hero who abuses power. Although I’m not going to go into details to avoid spoilers, I will say that Homelander is the true villain of this fictionalized world. He is the most praised yet is secretly an egomaniac, making him the greatest threat, as he does terrible, TERRIBLE things. 

The Boys is more than just a show about superheroes; it’s a social commentary on the corruption of powerful beings in the world and how ultimately it’s up to society to stop that. So, after objecting the “supes” in this show, who are the true heroes? In this case, it’s the titular “The Boys”, a group of vigilantes destined to prevent the Seven and Vought from continuing their wrongful ways. The protagonist Hughie Campbell’s life is swiftly changed after the loss of a loved one due to the recklessness of a superhero and eventually seeks vengeance with the leader of the Boys, Billy Butcher. Together they struggle to gain the retributive justice in order to atone for their losses caused by the Seven, bringing other allies along the way. Another person who is considered a true hero is Starlight, the newest member of the Seven who is unfortunately oblivious to the truth of her job. It isn’t until tragedy occurs to which she realizes her dream of being a hero was nothing but smoke and mirrors. Yet, her character development overall brings a ray of hope that there can be true heroes in the world.

Overall this show is extremely grotesque and anything but family friendly, as it contains many jaw dropping scenes. Although it makes Deadpool look like a children’s movie, The Boys’ over the top mayhem sets the tone and perfectly captures its’ unique take on heroes as well as justice.